Colombia: Mine Explosion Kills 21

Image copyright: Reuters

The Facts

  • On Thursday, Colombian Pres. Gustavo Petro announced that the death toll from a mine collapse on Tuesday had risen to 21 after rescue operations ended and failed to rescue 10 trapped miners.

  • The mine exploded in the Cundinamarca region of the country, with initial reports citing 11 deaths. The blast reportedly occurred when a spark from a miner's tool ignited a pocket of built-up gasses.

The Spin

Narrative A

Colombia has a long history of dangerous and deadly mining. While being the world's fourth largest exporter of coal, the country lacks the technical expertise to develop regulations that would prevent deadly explosions. The South American nation must engage with global mining experts in a meaningful way to take advantage of opportunities to not only increase mining safety but also reduce emissions that come along with the trade.

Narrative B

While there is still a long way to go, Pres. Gustavo Petro and his government have proven they care about miners and their families. They have implemented inspections and started taking cues from miners and their labor unions. They have also renewed their focus on increasing mining safety through effective regulations —with a focus on disaster prevention — while also increasing mining output and planning for responsible energy transition options.

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